Describing your educational background
For graduates, education should usually be the first section, as it is probably the most important (and recent) thing about you, unless you have significant work experience or activities outside of your degree:
- EXPAND IT Give an outline of what you have studied in your degree. For example saying “BSc in Computer Science” is too vague and ambiguous. What have you studied? Include courses that you will be doing in the future, as well as ones you have already done. By the time you get the interview, you'll be able to say more about them. What exactly does YOUR Computer Science degree mean? Add some brief context... Just saying “BSc Computer Science” is not enough, there are around 9000 students graduating with computer science degrees in the UK every year and each course is different - so give some of the details including those up to the end of your current year of study
- SUMMARISE IT... but don't list every single module you've done - just summarise the courses that are relevant to the job, the ones you found interesting or excelled at. Also, can you summarise what a BSc in Computer Science (or your specific degree programme) actually is in one or two sentences? Likewise, instead of listing EVERY secondary / high school qualification, summarise them briefly e.g. “13 GCSE's A*-A including Maths and English”. These exams were important when you were 16, but are much less relevant now so don't waste valuable space with a detailed description
- AVERAGE IT Give an overall degree classification e.g “first year average, 65%, 2:1” but don't list every mark for every course. Long lists of marks are usually a waste of space and tedious for the reader, unless you want to highlight exceptional performance in particular modules you have studied. Whatever mark you are describing, two significant figures is enough e.g. don't say “68.71% overall mark” - just “68% average mark” will do
- EXPECT IT If you don't know your mark yet or you hope that your degree classification will improve, state what your expected grades are. You might have different achieved and expected grades if you're on an upward trend.
- DATE IT The description of your degree should include a start date and (expected) end date (year). Don't include the day, and only include months where they are relevant (e.g. summer jobs)
- BADGE IT Rember you can add any badges badges.cs.manchester.ac.uk to your digital profile (e.g. LinkedIn) as well as any online courses you may have certificates for like futurelearn.com, coursera.org and edx.org like CS50 etc. If you've done CS50, this also gives you a legitimate reason to shamelessly name-drop Harvard University on your CV.
- NAME IT Mention the name of projects you have done, what they did and what your role in the team was. Instead of just FIRST YEAR TEAM PROJECT, for example say Mancshacks: built an accommodation finder for students in Manchester that worked both on mobile and web platforms, co-ordinated and organised a team of 6 students meeting once a week over a 6 month period, see mancshacks.com. No-one outside the Kilburn building will understand what you mean if you say “first year team project”. What skills did you gain while doing it (not just tech skills)? What role did you play in the team? Spell it out for the reader so they don't have make their own inferences.
- STENDHAL IT If you're doing or have done COMP23420 Software Engineering you could mention for example that your second year project involves building a multi-user, multi-threaded, client-server application (stendhalgame.org) with 6000 Java classes, 1800 JUnit test cases and over 10 years of commit history. As part of your project you are using tools like Eclipse, Git, Apache Ant, Jenkins, Gerrit and SonarQube to help you manage issue tracking, code quality, build automation, test automation and version control. This stuff looks great on a CV and will help you to stand out in the job market.